The famous rap group Bidew Bou Bess promotes children’s rights in Senegal

Bidew Bou Bess, a commitment alongside UNICEF and the Ministry of National Education for children

Text : Moussa Diop - Photos & videos : Massamba Fall
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UNICEF Senegal/2022/Massamba Fall
22 June 2022

They set up one of the first rap groups in Senegal: Bidew Bou Bess which was born in 1994 in the suburbs of Dakar. In 1996, they won a major competition organized by the Ministry of National Education together with the French Institute. In 1999, their first album was produced by the Jololi label of the internationally renowned Senegalese star Youssou Ndour. No matter how successful they have become, Mokhtar, Beydi and Ibrahim have not lost their children's souls. These three brothers tell us more about the clip they have just launched with UNICEF and the Ministry of National Education as well as their commitment for children’s rights. 

DAKAR (Senegal), 22 June 2022 - In the near suburbs of Dakar, in the popular district of Grand-Yoff, it was a party for the students of the junior high School which bears the same name. Grand Yoff junior high school was chosen by the Ministry of National Education to launch the clip made by the Bidew Bou Bess Group: "Hymn to the child" within the context of the Day of the African Child. The song from which this clip derive from was also composed and launched on the Day of the African Child, a year earlier, in 2021.

UNICEF Senegal/2022/Massamba Fall

The lyrics and content are the result of extensive reflection and research by artists who revisit several thematic related to the protection of children: the right to education, health, the right to civil status, a healthy environment, a call to put an end to female genital mutilation, violence, abuse and exploitation that children are victims. A commitment and a call to action to communities, decision-makers and parents for the protection of children and the promotion of their rights."

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UNICEF Senegal/2022/Massamba Fall

BBB is a Senegalese artists’ group composed of 3 brothers who are very active in the field of advocacy and who decided very early on to put their music at the service of development, of Senegalese’s populations and of crucial issues that affect society in general. For us, commitment to children is a duty, an obligation for everyone because children represent the most important people of a country; they are the future leaders; they are our future. Our dream is to see all children of our country succeed. That they are fulfilled and that all their rights are respected in order to pave the way for their future." said Beydi.

The "Hymn to the Child" project was supported by UNICEF and carried out in partnership with the authorities of the Ministry of Women, Family, Gender and Child Protection and those of the Ministry of National Education.

BBB pour UNICEF Senegal

"The partnership with UNICEF and the Ministry of National Education can only be beneficial because when everyone works together, only good things come out of it. Children must be helped, supported and protected; for populations, they should be sensitized through specific projects, strategies and programs that can result from this partnership," affirmed Beydi.

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UNICEF Senegal/2022/Massamba Fall

For more than a year now, BBB have been working with UNICEF and the Ministry of National Education on this project. "Children need help to grow up well. Music is a powerful means of communication. Through our voices, through instruments and through music we can reach a large segment of the population. Because of our commitment and passion, we did not feel the challenges” added Ibrahim.

Members of Bideew bou Bees group have demonstrated determination and commitment alongside UNICEF and the Ministry of National Education. "In the first verse of the anthem, we Ibrahim, Beydi and myself did it with our own children. We chose our children to translate our commitment and set an example, because we are parents first of all," Mokhtar confirmed.

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UNICEF Senegal/2022/Massamba Fall

After the launch, the group plans to organize a tour inside the country and seize the opportunity to reach out to the communities and to continue the advocacy. "UNICEF and Bideew Bou Bess are working together for the good cause: the rights of the child," Beydi concluded.